WEDNESDAY morning in Washington. Everyone got on the phone right away.
"Hello, Mr. Secretary. This is the H. Gillman Real Estate Company. We're terribly sorry about the election but we'd like you to know if you're preparing to sell your house we can get you the best price of anyone in this town. We'll be happy to send out our man this afternoon with a very attractive 'FOR SALE' sign which will enhance the beauty of your property . . . Mr. Secretary, Mr. Secretary . . ."
"Harry, who do you know in the Reagan camp? You've got to help me, Harry. My client is calling me in an hour and I told him I went to school with Reagan's closest adviser. I'll lose the entire lobbying account if I don't come up with a name. Give me anybody . . . No, not Frank Sinatra. My client will never buy that one. Don't you have an economic adviser I can drop on him? Harry, my family's survival depends on me knowing a Reagan confidant -- or at least pretending I do. I'll take 40 tickets to the Inaugural Ball . . . Anything you want, Harry, but give me a name."
"Is this Mr. Tiger of Consolidated General Ltd.? . . . This is Bo Butter of the White House staff. I'm returning your call of July 7, 1978 . . . I know I'm a little tardy. My secretary just gave me the message. What can I do for you, Mr. Tiger? . . . It's too late? You don't want to talk to the president anymore? . . . I'm sure he'd like to talk to you . . . Mr. Tiger, before you hang up, you wouldn't be in the market for a bright young man from Georgia who knows his way around Washington and has White House experience? . . . You wouldn't? Well, if you change your mind can I give you my number? You have it? Yes, Mr. Tiger - - you have a nice day, too."
"Mr. Sampson, this is Congressman Dinglehoffer. As you know, because of the dirty campaign waged by my opponent I will not be serving in the next Congress. But I will be able to still serve you personally. I am setting up my own consulting firm, and I believe with a new administration and Congress you're going to need instant analysis and advice which my firm will be able to supply to you and your executives. Also although I will no longer be a congressman, my long-standing friendships with my colleagues will prove invaluable to the defense industry division of your company. Why don't we have lunch next week and talk it over? I'll take you to the Senate dining room and introduce you to some real swell guys."
"Is this Warner Bros.? This is Col. Arthur Khan, of Special Services for the Armed Forces. I'd like to book 'Bedtime for Bonzo,' 'Knute Rockne' and 'Brother Rat' as well as any other Ronald Reagan movies you have on the shelf. I want them to show to our boys overseas. They deserve the best in cinema entertainment and my job is to see that they get it. Oh, and if, you see President-elect Reagan in California could you please tell him Col. Kahn is making sure our men in uniform are getting the finest films that Hollywood has to offer. That's K-A-H-N. If he has any questions about other pictures he'd like our boys to see, ask him to call me collect at the Pentagon."
"Bumsted, this is Wallenberg. I understand you're serving at the pleasure of President Carter. Well, I would just like to tell you what an incompetent stuffed shirt you really are. I took a lot of guff from you for the last four years, but you didn't fool me one bit. I thought you were a phony when I first met you and I think you're more of a phony now.
"I feel sorry for you, Bumstead -- because you won't have Wallenberg to kick around anymore. That's the difference between being civil service and a presidential appointee. Those of us in civil service see some dodos come and go, but as far as everyone in my department was concerned, you were the pits."
"Is this the Washington Souvenir Shop on 15th Street? This is the Gamble Knikknack Company. We seem to be overstocked on President Carter salt and pepper shakers -- you know, the ones that are shaped like peanuts. We'll give them to you at our cost . . . Wait, don't hang up. How about half our cost? . . . Will you just take them off our hands by paying for the shipping? . . . Okay, we'll pay for the shipping."
"Charley, Eddie here. Listen, start cranking up the plans again for the B1 bomber. Don't ask questions, just do what I tell you. It's just a hunch but I think we're back in business."